A place for family and friends to see what I'm up to. Visitors welcome here.

Hail Guest, we ask not what thou art.
If Friend, we greet thee, hand and heart.
If Stranger, such no longer be.
If Foe, our love will conquer thee.
-Old Welsh Door Verse

Monday, February 11, 2008

Make-it-Healthy Monday (for real)

Last week I wrote a post about my heart testing and how I came to be heading to a cardiologist in the first place so I won't repeat that story. I'll just say that I am gradually getting used to the idea of preventative health care as a positive thing and am gradually developing better habits as far as getting regular check-ups.

I'm up-to-date on my mammograms (last one in January, all good).
I'm up-t0-date on my teeth (clean and x-rayed with no new decay).

I take my blood pressure meds every day. My grandmother died at 51 of hypertension (in 1954 when I was three) and I am grateful every day that we have medications for this disease now that have helped keep my mother with us well past that age. At my last "comfortable" check-up (XL BP cuff, 45 minute wait to relax) my BP was 116/74. My internist and I were both thrilled!

At my visit in August my weight was the highest it's ever been at 271 (I'm 5'7"). At my last internist appointment it was 268, and at the cardiologist's consultation it was 258. I've had two pieces of advice that have made a huge difference for me as far as losing weight. The first was a post by a dietitian I read on a Weight Watchers site last year. She said - believe it or not - that most dieters don't get enough fat in the morning and pay for that all day with low energy levels, which tends to make them eat more. She recommended changing from nonfat to 2% milk in the morning. In 1964, on the advice of his doctor, my father started drinking nonfat instead of whole milk. My mother, to make her life a tad easier, changed the whole family to nonfat and I've been drinking it ever since. But, on the advice of this columnist, I switched to 2% and use it on cereal in the morning. I noticed within a few days that I am no longer ravenous by my mid-morning break.

The second was something shared by an old friend (I've know him for 35 years). Jim has always been athletic (marathon runner, biker) but has never been thin. The last time I saw him I was amazed at how much weight he'd lost - he actually looked thin! Of course, I asked him what made the difference and he said his trainer had him eating five small meals a day instead of three larger meals. That was all he'd changed, and the weight just dropped off. So, what I do now is split my lunch and eat half of it for my morning break. For example, I'll bring a tuna salad on whole grain sandwich and a pear, then eat half the sandwich for my break (about 10:30 in the morning.) I guess it keeps my metabolism working more efficiently because I've been able to lose some weight and that's really the only change I've made.

Now, I've been in and out of Weight Watchers since 1971. Someday I will find a lecturer who has lost more than 100 pounds (well, I would even settle for 75) and be truly inspired. But every time I do sign up for a while I learn something new. Most of the time I eat very reasonably.

Most of the time.

But not during (dun, dun, dun!)


Never heard of Chocolate Season? It runs (in America) from early October (or even late September when the Halloween candy appears on the shelf in all it's freshy goodness), continues through Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine's Day and Easter. The Easter bunny makes ALL the chocolate and - thank goodness - goes into hibernation after Easter. What's bizarre about my addiciton to chocolate is that I really don't think I like the flavor that much. But, oh, I love the texture of Hershey's Kisses, Dove's Promises, M&Ms and See's dark chocolate walnut clusters.

I read an article once by some kind of doctor doing a study of people and chocolate. He said he had found that what most people like most about chocolate is the texture, the "pop" as you bit into a firm piece of candy. Boy, that was sure me! Then he went on to say that for his patients with this problem he had found that they were often satisfied chewing on a wooden stick. Which was really meaningful for me, because for all of my life when I would eat a popsicle or fudgesicle or anything else on a flat, wooden stick I would chew on the stick until it splintered.

So, guess I'd better head to Michael's and pick up a box of craft sticks to use as a diet aid!

1 comment:

Von said...

Eating the smaller, more frequent meals is a great idea - I'm going to give it a try! :)